Micronesia, which is made of three archipelagos of volcanic origin in the Pacific Ocean north of Papua, is the home of the divinity that we encounter this month: Lugeilan. He is a masculine divinity who comes from the sky, and he came down to earth to bring Knowledge. In particular, Lugeilan focuses on three teachings: agriculture, tattooing and the art of hairstyling. His name is associated with the coconut palm. From his union with a mortal woman – who according to some myths is magically fertilized, as in many other religious traditions – comes Olofat, who is also a god, and as we will see, he is a rather “challenging” son because he is a trickster god.

When our ancestors learned the art of agriculture and abandoned nomadic life, settling in the most fertile areas where they could cultivate the fruits of the earth and raise animals, the first villages arose, which then became cities where they developed writing, art and civilization. In the areas where he presides, Lugeilan himself ignites this process, and it is no coincidence that he and his son are considered the founders of human society.

This alone would be enough to make him an inspirational figure, to dream of him, to ask for the secrets of creating civilizations and sharing knowledge. To do this, Lugeilan creates tattooing and the art of hairstyling, and he gives them value and meaning as symbols of the culture of the people. Through tattoos, human beings tell mythical stories, interweaving collective events with personal ones, making them a part of their bodies and carrying them throughout the time of their lives. In this way, tattooing makes it possible to extend one’s energetic presence to vaster planes of existence. The doors to these dimensions can only be opened by a god, and to communicate with him, we need hair, living antennas to be cared for and arranged in different shapes to increase their power, establish their functions, and affirm the status of the people. Perhaps Lugeilan was also the inspiration for Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian sociologist who said, “The medium is the message.” After all, in a joking way, we notice that the two names are similar…

There is a third element in Lugeilan that makes us think of the art of transformation, of camouflage, in the noble and creative sense of the term. As we have seen, Lugeilan is rich in characteristics and charisma, and he is best known as the father of Olofat. Olofat tried to rise up to the sky, which is his origin, and he managed to antagonize all his relatives, who then dragged him down, fought him and killed him. Lugeilan was deeply sorry about this. Although he was aware of his son’s presumption, he resurrected him and forced the other gods to make room for him in the sky. This is also an interesting similarity to other religions that are familiar to us: a divine child who dies and then returns.

And you, how do you consider your hair? Do you have tattoos on your body? What stories do they tell? What stories do the signs on your skin tell? Your moles, scars, and expression lines? Look at yourself with new eyes, as if you were reading the story of a hero or heroine through the map of your body.

Stambecco Pesco